The house here is prone to flooding. Before this neighborhood existed, a creekbed ran approximately through our back yard. If the sump pump is not completely functional, our basement floods.
We don't have the problems that others have had. The house to the northwest of us, across the street, used to flood every time we got more than a spattering of rain. New sewers fixed that, but the house was there for years before that happened. One of my friends in high school, his house would get raw sewage in its basement during strong storms.
Anyway, Dad took measures to fix the issue, and one of them was an "Ace in the Hole"--a battery-operated backup sump pump. Well, earlier this summer we had a power failure lasting several hours, and the "Ace in the Hole" failed utterly...so Dad decided that it had to be replaced.
That's where I came in. Guess who got to do the replacing? Guess who got to go buy the thing?
Guess who had never installed a sump pump before in his life?
The old pump connected to the sump line horizontally, with a T fitting. The new one had a vertical discharge and had to connect to the sump line in a different configuration. I re-used about 18 inches of the original vertical piping; the rest was replaced because I basically had to re-plumb that part of the sump line.
So I spent my entire day on this project. But it works! And it looks about 3000% better than the previous installation looked, too. And as I was having a much-needed shower afterwards, I realized: who else do I know--whom I am not related to--who could do what I did today?
It's a display of "good old-fashioned American know-how". Americans used to know how to fix things and make them work; but these days most people find it easier just to call or otherwise hire an expert. I mean, some people call AAA to change a flat tire, for crying out loud!
That's why Radio Shack no longer stocks as many electronic components as it once did. Who tries to build anything electronic any more?
So it's another reason I rule: I know how to fix things. Hoody hoo.